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A special board of aldermen meeting has been called to award a contract related to Union’s city hall project.

The Union Board of Aldermen is scheduled to meet Monday, Oct. 15, to vote on a contract between the city and Navigate Building Solutions. The deal would make Navigate, St. Louis, the project manager for the planned city project.

The board and Mayor Mike Livengood selected Navigate to be the project manager during an Oct. 1 special meeting.

Navigate and Creative Construction Services, Chesterfield, both made presentations after the city sought proposals for the work. Navigate and Creative Construction Services (CCS) were the only two to respond.

The two firms each were given 30 minutes to make their case. Once the presentation was finished, the mayor and board voted 8-1 in an informal paper ballot to back Navigate.

The city then had to work on an agreement with Navigate. A deal was reached and will be up for a vote Monday night.

Navigate is no stranger to the area. The firm is currently working with Franklin County on the jail upgrade project and the Union R-XI School District on its plans for a new school and building upgrades.

If the deal is approved, Navigate will be the designated project manager for the new city hall project.

The city agreed to purchase the former Fricks grocery store at 10 E. Locust St. in late March for $475,000 from Central Markets Inc. The city intends to use the site for the first permanent designated city hall in Union’s history.

Navigate will help with the building demolition, design of the new building and with the construction process.

Union City Administrator Russell Rost said the city has a rough estimation of the project costing around $5 million. He said a project manager would help provide a “firmer” number.

Rost said the project manager would be a consultant for the work. He compared the position as similar to what the city has used for large road projects.

The deal, if approved, will cost a lump sum of $245,637 for basic services. The contract has rates for additional services.

There is currently no time line for the construction. Rost said he hopes the project “makes that part of the community viable and vibrant again.”

He said the work, combined with other projects could spur more development in the area.

Project Background

The city has never had a building designated specifically for city hall. Through the years, it has shared space with the fire department, police department and now the city auditorium.

The auditorium has encountered Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues. Last year the city hired Horn Architects to conduct a feasibility study on the current auditorium.

The firm studied remodeling city hall, purchasing an existing building and renovating it to meet ADA standards, or building a new city hall.

When Horn Architects presented its ADA accessibility findings to aldermen in July 2017, it described the city’s situation as “death by 1,000 cuts.”

In all, nearly 200 barriers and 18 life-safety issues were reported. Barriers are any object or policy that inhibits or prohibits the use of any space, program or activity by those with disabilities.

Life-safety issues ranged from noncompliant exits and emergency lighting to not having a fire sprinkler system, egress doors having noncompliant hardware, stair guardrail issues, too few egress exits and other issues.

Based on the study, the city decided the best way to move forward would be to leave the auditorium and build a new city hall.